Combating the invasive tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Tuta IPM)
Tomato production is constrained by numerous biotic and abiotic factors. Among the former are arthropod pests, of which, Tuta absoluta is the key devastating pest. Infestation by the pest causes yield losses of up to 100%, jeopardizing the livelihood of millions of growers and other beneficiaries along the crop value chain. Alarmed by rampant spread and the destructive nature of this pest, growers in Kenya and Uganda have resorted to indiscriminate widespread use of broad-spectrum insecticides which is unsustainable with enormous health hazards to producers, consumers and the environment. This project proposes to implement an eco-friendly IPM approach for this pest in Kenya and Uganda that is based on mass trapping and field/ green-house sanitation as well as carry basic research of biological control agents (Dolichogenidea gelechiidivoris and fungal-based biopesticides) to be incorporated in the IPM package.